Make It Yourself

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The percent of the human population working in...

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I’m not advocating for a complete return to an agrarian life.  It just isn’t for everyone, I understand.  Besides, it’s fascist and just plain boring.  And how can we possibly pry all the technology out of the fingers of its adherents for more than a few minutes anyway.  I guess we really cannot in some cases.   

But if we want to keep disease in check and curb the obesity problem in the developed world, we obviously need to make some significant changes.  None of these changes are easy and I realize it isn’t all going to happen overnight.  I’m in a coffee shop writing this paragraph and there is one person behind me talking on the phone, and another texting in front of me.  Were I to ask them these simple questions, they’d probably look at me like I just fell off the nearest psychiatrist’s couch; the questions are simple, the answers are dreadful to many, I suppose.  Such as supporting regional (preferably local) agriculture; organically produced agriculture.  Demanding it.  Genetically altering food-producing plants, and then spraying them with pesticides is no longer acceptable.      

If we all contributed modestly to the solution, it probably wouldn’t seem insurmountable.  It could be extremely difficult, but nothing worth having is worth ease of possession, I believe.   

But with convenience food on virtually every street corner, how do you convince people to start along the different road?  And with patience at a seemingly all time low, how do you even get people to listen.  I know there are times when I myself try hard to extricate myself from a conversation that is sapping me of my time and energy.  Perhaps for me, blogging is that starting point.  People can listen at their own convenience, and perhaps have some say in their own smaller circle of influence.One of the solutions:  Make It Yourself 

For example, try making food one day a week. Pick something easy, and that you really love to eat, and make it completely from scratch. Once a week, every week.  Maybe you’ll enjoy doing it, and cook more regularly, and will reach a higher level of sustainability and health.  Don’t go out and grow all your food at first. If you are so inclined, grow a little of your food, buy organic, and in some cases just do without. If you want a somewhat more inspiring invitation to change, read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle.    In it, Kingsolver and her family decide to live off the land.  I’ll let you make your own judgments about their efforts.

If what you like is spaghetti, for example, try growing a small amount of virtually everything in the recipe. If you are including meatballs, you probably don’t want to raise a cow if that is cost and space prohibitive. But you can grow (and can or freeze) the tomatoes and the spices to make a sauce. You probably won’t grow the wheat for making pasta. But you can try making the pasta yourself. Doing all of this will slow you down enough to appreciate the process, and since all the food is fresh, you will truly appreciate it.   

It seems, however, that we have  become slaves to what the media marketing circus is selling that we consume fast food ad nauseum, prescription drugs until we are drowning in them, and clothing and technology and other affectations to sell us as pointedly attractive. 

Please give it a try.  Let’s take back the world from those who have chosen to do us harm.


One Small Step for Mankind

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Tempus ex machina

Image by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ via Flickr

I’m in the middle of writing a post which will be fairly lengthy, and I thought I would write this sort of as a preamble.

We have a problem in the world:  We consider independence to be such an all important thing that we don’t realize that interdependence is the only way to live.  We call our new reality a global community.  Community implies interdependence.  The sooner we realize this, the sooner we won’t have to complain about how we are being oppressed or used for political or economic ends beyond current control.  To believe in true independence means that you are capable of doing anything without the assistance of anybody else.  Sort of like God.  You can feel falsely independent driving your car which you didn’t conceive in your mind, design on paper or on a computer, managed the resources necessary to make it happen, marketed the product and then sold it.

We are all stuck on this planet together.  We can choose to pull out our big sticks and fight till all the weakest (or meekest) are dead, and the aggressors are left to deal with each other.  Or we can choose to make this a place to live that doesn’t require aggression to sustain ourselves beyond a few, or even a few hundred more, generations, until we are extinct and the planet is habited once more by (sub) human species.

Please Commit to Commit One Selfless Act Today

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Image by dancing+bambi via Flickr

The world is spinning way too quickly these days.  I’m sure technology has something to do with it, but I’m sure there are other factors as well.  Even end-of-the-world factors, if you believe that.  But whether you do or not, it is often difficult to find enough time in every day to do all the thing you need to do.  There are undoubtedly thousands of ways to slow time down.  I’d like to offer a suggestion.

Please commit to commit one selfless act today.
And don’t even concern yourself with whether it has any consequences that you can observe.  If you assume that it will have positive consequences, you can probably be certain that it will.  If we all do so, we might find it to be as self sustaining as the air we breathe and the water we drink, and perhaps we can make such a difference in the world.


Happy Birthday to My Mom!

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Today is my mother’s birthday.  She is 82 years of age today, which is not desperately important.  For me, in this little posting, all that really matters is that I love, and like, my mother very much.  I probably wouldn’t be here writing, or have the desire for many things creative if it weren’t for her.  She is very much my emotional ground with all the crazy live wires out there in the world.  Happy Birthday MOM!

Why I Hate Long Distance Relationships

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Various M8 motorway (Ireland) photos

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I have been in a long distance relationship for nearly two years.  Supposedly that should end on or around my birthday next year February.  Until then, all the horrible things that can be said about long-distance relationships I’m sure are true.  When two people live together, and fight about something, it is much easier to make up later, even without sex.  In person contact beats any other form of communication by a long shot.  There are too many opportunities for misunderstanding when apart.  Just think back to any email you have ever written that the person you sent it to asked for clarification; worse, misunderstanding associated with text messages.  And it is so much easier to fall into the trap of playing tag by phone or email.  There is just no substitute for in person communication.  All the nuance of body language and facial expressions make communication in person much easier.  And why would you want a long distance relationship?  For people who confess love for each other, the only reason to persist in one is because financially things are difficult.  It takes some serious soul searching to mend that financial rift, to do the right thing by both parties involved.  But let’s face it.  People are stubborn, and sometimes can only see the little world, which often doesn’t seem so little, that they have created, and can be unreasonable and uncompromising nearly to a fault.

Grief as Protection

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Grieving, I suspect, is a much more complex process than we will ever know.  In retrospect, I can comment on one aspect of it or another, and were I to make a note of other aspects experienced by others, I might begin to paint a more complete picture of it in my mind.  One thing I noticed, and recounted to others, after my father died, now more than 15 years ago, is how my perception of things slipped often into surreal moments.  I can recall many things now, but there are many more things that I only have a fuzzy recollection of, as if I were in a cocoon.  I think it is simplistic to just believe that because you are grieving that you will brush aside, or repress, that which is difficult to deal with.  And perhaps in traumatic cases, there is some good measure of this happening.  And I think it is equally simplistic, to believe that the chemistry involved in grieving is the sole protection from the pain involved.  As I continue to move forward in life, I will always respect that as human beings, we believe in a great deal.  It is that acknowledgement which I use to color my writing process, which color my word choice.  That said, I acknowledge that there are many that do not believe in a supreme being.  There are so many things for which science can offer an explanation.  The grieving process included.  But how can something as universal as grief, for which we all experience things outside of the normal physical realm be explained away by simple processes.  There are, I believe, supernatural forces at work protecting us from grief.  I think anybody who has lost a loved one knows, upon examination, that this is so.

You Are My Friend

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Technology has allowed us to keep in touch with people as never before.  Family are now only a few keystrokes away on Facebook and other social networking sites.  Cell phones allow us to have conversations with our loved ones at virtually any moment.  Remember when you needed a longer cord on your landline just to have a little privacy or to allow you multitask while having a conversation?  But has the globalization really made us closer?  Has it made us appreciate those loved ones any more?  I think in some cases it has.  It depends on your approach to your technological self.  But I think while it has made us more socially available and perhaps even more socially approachable, it has spread us out so thin that we can have thousands of friends and not really any at all.  Not I.  I am acquainted with many people, some of which I may even remember a name after many years of not seeing each other, but my circle of friends is small.  Frankly, I just don’t have all the time in the world to have hundreds of friends.  I barely feel I can manage to keep my house clean, and cook, and sleep, and work.  A dictionary definition of friend is a person whom you know well and regard with affection and trust.  There have never been more than a handful of people that fit that definition for me.  I think that’s true for everybody.  I fear technology is making it so that more and more people have fewer and fewer people who fit that definition.  This saddens me.  I wish to start at least one person to look at their relationships with the purpose of making each and every one fruitful, and thus inspiring others by example.

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